Day 1: Departure
A departure from your airport will be the beginning of our Alpine Adventure.
Day 2: Frankfurt/Rothenburg
After arrival in Frankfurt, Germany, we meet our motorcoach, continue our travel from the Main River Valley, and enjoy the short drive through the villages of the Romantic Road to Rothenburg. The area is suitably described as one of the best preserved medieval towns in all Germany and was granted the supreme status of a Free Imperial City in 1274. After the opportunity to relax in the hotel, our local guide will escort us on an informative walking tour in Altstadt (Old Town). Visit Europe's largest interior all-year-round Christmas store, Kathy Wohlfahrt, where, after a friendly welcome, you are free to browse at leisure. We have a welcome dinner this evening.
Day 3: Nuremburg/Salzburg
Travel to Nuremberg, the capital of the Franconian region of Bavaria, famous for its Bratwurst sausage and "lebkuchen" gingerbread. We enjoy a visit to the Schmidt gingerbread factory to taste a sample and enjoy free time in this remarkable town famed for its wooden carved toy industry. Explore the Old Town built into the city walls and enjoy lunch and shopping in the Town Square of one of Europe's largest fortified castles. The day continues as we travel to Salzburg following the Bavarian mountain range.
Day 4: Salzburg/Berchtesgaden
Enjoy a full day in the City of Mozart, Baroque Palaces, and plazas while our local guide walks us along the cobblestone streets of Salzburg. See Mirabelle Gardens, Mozart's home, and the colorful Getreidegasse. The charm and scenery of this "Sound of Music" village will capture your heart. In the afternoon, head into the scenic Berchtesgaden National Park to visit the Obersalzburg region where Hitler's retreat, the "Berghof" or Eagle's Nest, is located. We continue into Berchtesgaden for a daily afternoon tea concert in the Kurpark before returning to Salzburg. An optional evening of music can be added.
Day 5: Salzkammergut/Danube Cruise
This is a "photo moment" day as we travel through Austria's most wonderful Lake District, Salzkammergut. We take a photo opportunity at St. Wolfgang, the pretty lakeside village famed for its "Weisses Rossl" Operetten (White Horse Inn) before entering Bad Ischl, summer residence of Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth, and home of composer Franz Lehar. We can enjoy some refreshment in one of the stylish imperial coffee shops. Onward through the lakes before joining the Danube Valley and a lunch break at Marie Tarfel, overlooking the River Danube. Join a Danube ship cruise through the Wachau Valley enroute to Vienna, passing the Castle Durnstein, once the prison holding the English King, Richard the Lionheart, before arriving in Vienna.
Day 6: Vienna
Our day begins with a city sightseeing tour of Vienna and the glorious Ringstrasse, with the capital buildings, State Opera House, and Parliament, then on to Schonbrunn Palace and a guided tour of the palace's marvelous rooms. Free time is planned to enjoy the impressive gardens of the palace grounds. The balance of the day is free to enjoy one of the many fascinating collections of Vienna or shop in the fine European stores. An extra treat is in store this evening as we dine in a restaurant with fine food and musical accompaniment and enjoy an evening tour of Vienna's illuminating sights and landmarks.
Day 7: Mondsee/Innsbruck
We bide adieu to Vienna and embark upon our travel back to the Alpine region with a break in Mondsee, the lakeside location as depicted in the Sound of Music, and through Berchtesgadenland into the Austrian Tirol. Stop in Innsbruck, taking in the breathtaking views from the Olympic Ski-jump Stadium amid some of the best mountain scenery Austria has to offer. The day continues over the Zirlpass via Seefeld through the Bavarian Alps, to the alpine tour of Garmisch-Partenkirchen where we enjoy dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Oberammergau/Munich
Another spectacular day begins with a short visit to the Benedictine Abbey of Ettal before entering Oberammergau, the world famous Bavarian wood carving village which has this year reaffirmed its sacred vow to perform the re-enactment of the Passion of Christ Play. After a short orientation tour, we have opportunity to enjoy the unique shops and perhaps see a local wood carver at work before continuing through the Ammer Valley to take a view of the renowned "Mad" King Ludwig II Neuschwanstein Castle. Travel to Munich for a tour of the capital sights of this unique city, and the balance of the day will be spent where modern shops border the Marienplatz, the old town square where the famous Glockenspiel still performs at regular intervals.
Day 9: Home
The day has arrived to end our scenic adventure and return to the USA.